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There Are No Mirrors In Heaven
Episode 1023rd April 2021 • The Catholic Teacher Podcast • Jonathan Doyle
00:00:00 00:06:49

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Today I share another profound quote from Father Donald Haggerty. In a world fractured by identity politics and rage this is a reminder of a strategy that can truly transform our lives and those of the people we care about.

One of the truly special things about your vocation as a Catholic educator is the way that your focus is directed toward the needs of others. Today's message takes us deeper into that reality.

Transcripts

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Well, Hey everybody, Jonathan Doyle with you.

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Once again, welcome aboard to the Catholic teacher daily podcast.

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Great to have the pleasure of your company wherever you're listening in the world.

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Thanks for tuning in for just a few moments for a little

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bit of daily encouragement and inspiration for Catholic teachers.

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It's such a crucial job that you're doing job.

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Did I say job?

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I mean, vocation.

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Uh, calling if you've heard me speak live in how often I talk about that,

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that this is a partnership God's called you into being an agent of what he's

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trying to accomplish in the world.

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So few of us get to operate at the highest levels of global power and politics, and

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we assume that that's more significant.

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But as I often say, God's economy is very, very different.

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What we do on the smallest level, what we do on the smallest scale, the

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conversations you're going to have in the next 24 hours as a Catholic educator

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are as significant in God's eyes as anything that world leaders are doing.

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You got to remember that, that, uh, He sees things very differently to us and

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these small things that you do every single day are precious in his sight

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and have ramifications and implications far beyond what you might think.

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So never minimize the crucial importance of what you're doing every single day.

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Now today's quote comes again from father Donald Haggerty.

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If you've been listening to recent episodes, You know, I've been starting

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to read his, uh, extraordinary works on contemplative prayer.

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And, uh, this one's really interesting.

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I'm going to read it to you.

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And then now when you first hear it, you'll be like, what?

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And then we'll just unpack it really quickly.

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He says this, there are no mirrors in heaven.

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Nor for that matter in the possession of those who love

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God with intensity in this life.

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One more time.

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There are no mirrors in heaven, nor for that matter in the prison of those who

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love God with intensity in this life.

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Took me a couple of seconds to figure this out when I first saw

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it, but what he's getting at, why would there be no mirrors in heaven?

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Because in heaven.

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This beautiful idea of the beatific vision is that we are all looking towards God.

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We are seeing God as he really is.

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And that is more than we can ask hope or imagine it's the most,

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uh, it's what we're made for.

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So, what it means is that in heaven, you don't need mirrors.

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Why?

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Because nobody wants to look at themselves.

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Nobody's remotely interested in looking at themselves.

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What they're interested in is, uh, being with the science in heaven,

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staring at being in the presence of contemplating, enjoying, experiencing

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in eternal ecstatic rapture, the beatific vision, the very face and

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presence of God himself in himself.

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So what it means is that in this life, We probably don't need mirrors.

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What does it mean?

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Think for a second about Instagram culture.

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Think for a second about the world we inhabit that is just utterly

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focused on the promotion of the self, the presentation of the self,

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the, uh, the projection of the self.

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We can come up with more words, but you get the point.

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We live in a culture.

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That's.

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Uh, increasingly narcissistic, you look at the work of professor John twing, who

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did the seminal rich research on, um, narcissism, particularly for young people.

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The, the narcissism indicator scores for young people have jumped

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dramatically in recent generations.

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So, what this means is that the Christian life is a life

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of increasing forgetfulness.

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It's a life of increasingly thinking about and looking less at ourselves.

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Now that doesn't mean any kind of, you know, self rejection or

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that we don't feel that we matter.

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It's not that it's that we begin to gradually forget ourselves.

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St.

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John of the cross has been a big part of my spiritual formation

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over the last three decades.

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And.

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He is beautiful.

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You know, he's famous spiritual poetry.

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He says, you know, that, um, he went out of himself, left

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himself forgotten and abandoned.

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So often as spiritual life deepens his prayer deepens.

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We get this kind of, so forgetfulness where we become far more interested

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in others and in God, than we do in ourselves mentioned a culture like that.

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I mentioned a culture.

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I mean, look at our culture at the moment is just so full of rage and anger

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and rights and demands and, and, you know, fracturing all over the place.

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I ran identity because of this, you know, this profound obsession that we

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seem to have culture at the moment with all forms of different, uh, identity.

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Whereas the Christian vision is a gradual, so forgetfulness and a focusing upon

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the other on, on the person in front of us on, on God, in contemplation.

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So let's tie this up for Catholic educators.

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We're called to this gradual self forgetfulness.

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We don't need mirrors.

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We don't need to be self obsessed.

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We need to be focused upon.

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And I'm sure so many of you do this incredibly well focused upon the needs

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of young people, their families on a.

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On focusing upon God.

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And if we do that for long enough, By the grace of God, he transforms

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us and we become fully who he is.

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I mean, look at Christ on the cross.

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I mean, how do I, how do I prove these theories?

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Look at Christ, you know, this, this self abandonment, this

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complete self giving for others.

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And we're caught into that.

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So one more time, there are no mirrors in heaven, nor for that matter in

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the possession of those who love God with intensity in this life.

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One more time clarification.

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It doesn't mean that we don't look after ourselves.

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It doesn't mean that we don't practice self care and look after

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our wellbeing, because if we do that, we can actually love each other.

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Love others more effectively.

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But let's be revolutionary.

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Huh?

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Let's be the kind of people that Christians have always been

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at crucial moments in history.

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Let's be, counter-cultural, let's be people that are not self obsessed.

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Let's be people who are deeply focused upon the needs of others

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and upon finding and seeking God or seeking and finding God.

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So I know you're already doing this.

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You wouldn't be in this vocation of this.

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Wasn't already part of your life.

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So God bless your friends.

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I hope that's a little bit of encouragement for you.

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Thank you for what you're doing every single day.

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Please make sure you've subscribed to the podcast wherever you're hearing this.

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So just drop your details in there and we'll get you these messages every

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single day, but otherwise you can find us on every podcast player at

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the Catholic teacher daily podcast.

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My name is Jonathan Doyle.

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It's been a joy to do this and I'll have another message for you tomorrow.